Our 2015 i3 BEV

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New member
Sep 15, 2023
My wife and I bought this together. We decided to get rid of the my/your car distinction, and instead we have the local/long-distance distinction now.

We've had the car 7 months now (bought June 2023), and it was of course second-hand and quite old already. The car shows around 13.5kWh left of the original 18.8kWh pack, but still does over 100km range when driven sedately, which suggests that the BMS might be a bit pessimistic.

Some photos. The first evening it came home. Charging from an extension cord and using the granny cable.

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Our "rag tag" collection of vehicles, only the rear two are ours, the third one (a VW golf mk1, which was built until 2009 in South Africa) belongs to a friend. Our long-distance runner is a Toyota RAV4 Diesel.

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I later installed a proper EVCS, and got a nice caddy and holder for the CCS2 connector. The Victron Energy EVCS integrates with my home solar system. The curly cable was perhaps not the best choice (for the caddy), but does work well. It is a single-phase cable (no 3-phase to my house), rated for 7kW. the EVCS itself is of course only wired for 16A, using a good old old-British socket, which the Brits exported back in the day when they were building their empire :) This gives me a measly 3.5kW charging speed, which is ample. I can take it up to 40A max, which is the upstream rating for the subpanel, but then some acrobatics is necessary to drop other loads when the EV is charging. So this will do for now.

WhatsApp Image 2023-12-22 at 11.55.52.jpegWhatsApp Image 2023-12-22 at 11.56.12.jpeg

The system ideally charges from solar power, but some days of the week there is simply not enough juice to go around, so the honest truth is that about half of it is powered by the very dirty South African grid (90% coal-based). This should hopefully change in future.

So far the car has been rock-solid dependable. The only thing it does, occasionally, is throw a drive train error, with lots of Bongs and a fan going full speed. Simply turning it off and back on makes the problem go away. I have been unable to figure out which error is causing the problem. I have a log, from BimmerLink, showing a heap of errors, but it looks as if BMW pretty much spams the logs with anything that is happening regardless of whether it is serious, and none of the errors are indicated as being serious enough to cause an alert.

Oh, and yes. I replaced the 12V battery preemptively.